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Homemade Limoncello

Limoncello is a classic Italian liqueur that is typically drunk chilled, and straight – although you can add it to your favorite cocktails for a citrusy punch too. The crux of the recipe is what kind of alcohol you use. If you can get Everclear – 151 proof – in your area, it works best, and takes the least amount of time. If you can’t, then 80 proof vodka will do in a pinch, and that’s what our recipe is based on.
Course Drinks


  • 10 lemons
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bottle vodka 80-proof or higher


  • If the lemons are not organic, scrub the peels under warm water to remove any wax added for appearance sake.
  • Using a sharp knife, peel the lemons in a spiral, taking care to take up as little of the bitter white pith as possible.
  • Place the peels in a large, clean glass jar that is sealable. (Save the lemons to juice for your favorite recipes or drinks.)
  • Pour the vodka over the lemon rinds, taking care to submerge them all.
  • Seal the jar, and shake it a little. To add an extra seal, place a piece of plastic wrap between the jar and lid.
  • Store it in a cool, dark area for at least two weeks, and up to one month, shaking it every few days.
  • Once it is done, it should be a nice lemony yellow color.
  • Using a cheesecloth, strain the liquid into a large pitcher.
  • Now, make the simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in small saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved, and the syrup begins to thicken.
  • Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature, and then combine it with the strained lemon vodka. The initial result should be slightly cloudy.
  • Serve refrigerated.


Note: the stronger the spirit you use, the more simple syrup you will need to use to sweeten it later.
Keyword Lemons
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